As we approach Pascha, a most important time of our year, we all need to make a great confession, which is a holy Sacrament of the Church. Here is an excellent primer on making a good confession. Seek out your Priest today!
On Making a Good Confession
Following His glorious Resurrection, as He appeared to His Disciples, Our Lord Jesus Christ gave the command that: “Whosoever’s sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever’s sins you retain, they are retained.” John 20:23 From that moment in history, the Church has seen Confession (or repentance) as one of the holy mysteries (or sacraments) of the Church, through which the penitent receives the divine forgiveness of Christ for any sins that are confessed.
The Lord Jesus Christ bestowed His authority upon the Church to forgive sins, and the priest or the bishop, as His representative on earth through his ordination, prays to God for the salvation of the penitent who repents of his sins, and God forgives through the priest. The Mystery of Holy Confession is holy because it connects God and His children, with the priest acting as the Bridge.
To make a good confession it is necessary to prepare oneself carefully, asking God to grant grace sufficient to make a thorough examination of the conscience. Sometimes we get so bogged down with regret, we fail to move on and grasp the moment. The wonderful thing about confession is the ability we are given, by our loving God, to receive absolution and move into the present moment. The past is forgiven, and the future is filled with hope. We must not occupy ourself with the past, nor occupy ourself with the future. All that is important is the present.
Love in Christ,
The following can be of real value, as you prepare to stand before the Gospel Book, with the priest as the witness, and make your confession before Christ Himself.
A BRIEF FORM OF CONFESSION
When indicated by the priest to do so, the penitent may say the following:
I confess to the Lord my God before you, reverend father, all my sins which I have committed up to the present day and hour, in deed, word, and thought. Every day and every hour I sin through ingratitude to God for His great and numberless blessings to me and His most gracious providence and care for me, a sinner. I have sinned through:
The penitent then mentions those sins from the following list he is guilty of:
concealing sins in confession
gluttony or over-eating
saying unseemly things
negligence or carelessness
love of money
love of sensual pleasure
missing church services
sleeping in church
neglect of prayer
attachment to things
love of glory or honor
vainglory or false values
condemnation of others
The penitent then mentions any other sins which he is guilty of, and concludes:
I repent of all my sins, and I beg forgiveness of our almighty God.
I also ask forgiveness for all those sins I have not confessed because of their multitude and my forgetfulness.
Forgive and absolve me, reverend father, and bless me to receive the Holy Communion of the precious, holy, and life-creating Mysteries of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.